Who Nourishes YOUR Spark? 7 Types of People You Need to Have in Your Life! October 14, 2021 Reading Time: 7 min ShareTweetPinShare0 SharesPositive relationships help reduce stress and boost our mood. In fact deep connection—and quality time with—people we love and enjoy is essential for us to truly be happy in life. And this is why connection to others is an important piece of the Fierce Kindness philosophy. Does your “spark” need nourishing right now? If so, you’ll enjoy this week’s article where we look at 7 kinds of people you need to have in your life! And maybe hatch a plan to spend more time with them… Who do you spend most of your time with? It’s said that we spend most of our time with just 20 people (although with the pandemic ongoing that might be less!). It’s also said that over the course of our lives we spend the vast majority of our time with just 5 people. Consider the Top 5 people you spend the most time with: Are these 5 people supportive, fun, loving, inspirational, energizing? Do they bring out the best in you? Do they allow you to be the “real” you? Do you feel good about yourself after spending time with them? Or do you find after spending time with these 5 people that you somehow feel ‘less’? Do you feel smaller, less happy or feel drained? Do you worry or stress unnecessarily before or after seeing them? Connection to others matters The people we spend our time with have a HUGE impact on how we feel about ourselves—and life in general. This is why creating an inspirational “Spark Team” is a great exercise to help refocus our energy on supportive and energizing relationships. And consider that spending time with people who leave us feeling good is a kindness to ourselves. And that spending time with people who don’t appreciate us, or who leave us feeling worse about ourselves could be considered unkind to ourselves—especially when there are other options if we’re prepared to think about it and make the effort… While COVID has made things more complicated, now is the time… Yes, it’s hard to think about growing friendships while we’re all under various—and varied—pandemic restrictions. But, as we head towards the 2 year mark of COVID and socialising restrictions, we NEED connection, now more than ever. So, if we’re going to make the effort to build relationships during this difficult time, let’s be kind and focus who you really want to spend time with, who really supports you. First, here are 3 questions to consider as you read the list below: Who (if anyone) in your life currently fills each role? For the role ‘gaps’, who might be able to fill them? Where could you possibly find someone? Lastly, is there someone in your life already filling the role who you’re only just beginning to appreciate? Here are 7 Types of People to Nourish Your Spark! 1) Your “Belonging Group/s” What groups do you just love spending time with? Where do you get your larger sense of belonging? Because there’s a special kind of connection and uplift we feel when we are in a group of people who are “like us”. This isn’t about finding people where you have a “100% match” of values across the board. Instead it’s about hanging out with people you feel a close alignment and sense of belonging with—even if it’s in just one area of your life… And most people benefit from having more than one “Belonging” Group encompassing work and/or their personal life. Here are some examples: A group of close school friends you’re still in touch with. People you work with (or used to work with) where you feel a sense of comfort and kinship. People you volunteer with. A book club, walking group, camera club, bird watching group—where the commonality is something you like to do. Another great place is your exercise, yoga classes or a meditation group. A professional networking group of colleagues in the same industry or role. These “Belonging Groups” feel like they’re ‘your people’ when you’re with them: they connect deeply to at least one aspect of who you are. Questions: What people and groups are already a part of your life? How does it feel when you spend time with them? 2) The Sparker! Who boosts your energy? Who, always leaves you feeling better about life after spending time with them? The Sparker may be someone super-positive, or it may be a realist who knows just what to say. It could be someone who sees the humour and ridiculousness of life—without making you ridiculous! It could also be someone creative, passionate, enthusiastic or even someone quirky or unusual. What matters is that this person’s enthusiasm and energy rubs off on you… Questions: Who helps you feel more inspired about life? Who do you call when you’re feeling down or need a lift? If you don’t have this person, who could you develop a relationship with to fill this role? 3) Someone to Grow With Who do you know who has similar goals and aims in life—or their career? Who is also on a path of self-growth? Who calls you forth? These people are often: Goal and action-oriented; they not only dream, but they make stuff happen. Focused and/or determined. Passionate and excited about life and/or possibilities. Committed to a better life and/or relationship/career/self. Having this person in your life will help you achieve your goals and make it happen! And if you’re lucky they’ll stretch and encourage you not to settle—to go for more. These people also make great accountability partners—and of course, be sure to offer the same in return! Lastly, depending on your stage in life, you may want to be slowing down rather than speeding up—or you may be more focused on your ‘social’ life, and less on career/work. So it’s helpful to find someone who is on a similar path.. Questions: Do you have someone you can get together with to share goals and action plans? If not, who can you think of? 4) The Connector These people love to host gatherings and be in the know. They are good at inviting—and connecting—others, and they do it naturally. Who can you think of that’s well-connected AND loves to share those connections? Question: Whether it’s at work or personally, who is at the centre of what’s going on in your social life? Who hosts and organizes—and includes you? Tip: Right now (ie. during the pandemic) this is the person ensuring you don’t become a complete hermit! 5) Your Ally! Who always leaves you feeling better about yourself after spending time with them? Who thinks EVERYTHING you do is awesome? (Or almost everything!) Who loves you, what you do and—importantly—believes in you? Who sticks up for you, and talks you up to others? You must meet Sarah, she’s totally awesome! Who has your back—and leaves you glowing? Yes, sometimes this kind of enthusiasm can make us uncomfortable. But why? Are you not a wonderful, unique and fascinating human being? Do you not have great qualities—even though you may underutilise and under-appreciate them? Question: Who if anyone fills this role in your life, and how could you deepen your relationship with them? 6) The Confidante and Trusted Advisor Who do you feel completely safe trusting all your secrets with? Who can you reveal your fears (or shadow side) to without judgement? Who gives you great advice without pressure ie. they don’t expect you to follow their advice because they trust you’ll do what’s right for you. These people usually have wisdom (sometimes beyond their years) and are—importantly—non-judgemental. They are utterly trustworthy and they also trust and see the best in you. Where to find this person: If this person is a friend, it’s often someone you’ve known a looooooong time… Depending on the quality of your family relationships this could be a parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt or uncle etc. It could also be someone at work, a past supervisor, teacher or could even be someone much older, more experienced or in a position of authority in the world. Question: Who (if anyone) already fills this role in your life? Who could you cultivate a relationship with? 7) The Challenger Yes, we feel comfortable with people who are like us, but comfort is not how we grow… People from different walks of life offer us a different perspective and expand our minds. And whilst it can sometimes be painful, they can be the mirror that helps us see our prejudices, assumptions and judgements. So our “Challengers” are people who are NOT like us! They’re different, and it’s how we view and approach things differently that will challenge us. Some examples of “Challengers” include people who: Have a very different set of values to us (whether consciously chosen or from their upbringing) Have a different level of education, financial status etc. Come from a different age group, ethnicity, skin colour, career choice, gender, sexual preference—or something else. And this doesn’t have to be just one person either! Question: Who do you like, admire or feel curious about? Who is quite different to you in some crucial way or another? What could you do to learn more about them or spend more time with them? 5 Ways You Can Grow these Important Relationships! So, after reading about these 7 types of people to have in your life, what are your next steps? Use the questions and ideas below to ponder your next steps, then choose ONE action to move forwards with. 1) Say “Thank-you” We all appreciate being appreciated. Being thankful or grateful is a powerful tool to focus on what matters most. Try these ideas: Share how thankful you are for someone’s presence in your life. Tell this person the impact they have on your life or how much you appreciate them. Write out your thanks to someone in a card or letter (an email also works). Give someone who matters a Heartfelt Compliment! Arrange a small gathering of their favourite people for a special occasion—or simply to appreciate them. We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. Thornton Wilder 2) Be Pro-Active Are you usually reactive, only reaching out when you need a boost, advice or are feeling lonely? If so, try being more pro-active! This could mean looking ahead and booking people in ahead of time if you know you’ve got a tough week. It might also mean deepening your relationships with regular connection. What regular activity could you set up so you’re not just calling on people when you need something? Lastly, reflect on how one-sided your important relationships are. Do you value this person ‘enough’ in your life? How could you get to know them more deeply? What wonderful qualities does this person have? How could you value them for more than the “role” they fill in your life? 3) Quality Time Everyone has their own idea of what quality time means. So each of these 7 types of people will have different needs. But to get you started, some ideas to generate more quality time with these important people in your life include: Simply booking in a longer chunk of time than you might usually. Give this person some quality time with one of their favourite people—you! Ask them what would feel like “quality time” to them, and then organize that or suggest you schedule it in! Go on a trip together doing something you both love. Treat them to dinner and focus on getting to know them more deeply. 4) Ask for help! Rather than have people blindly doing what they think is best for us, try giving them some direction—and ask for their help! Although we don’t want to overload someone who’s already super-busy, generally, we all love to help others. Asking for help is a compliment to that person—and helps the other person feel good about themselves too. TIP: The more specific we are with our requests, the easier it is for people to help us! What specifically could you do with some help around? What are you looking for, or do you need, right now? What specifically could _____ do to support you? 5) Return the Favour This person does a lot for you, or is important in your life. What could you do for them? Maybe you already do a lot. And if there’s someone on your list who could do with more appreciation, why not ask them: What can I do for you? What do you see and value in me? And how I could use this to support you more? So, what will you do? What ONE Action will you take? What resonated most with you in this article? Who is missing in your life? Who could be appreciated more? What action does it make sense for you to take to strengthen bonds with these 7 types of people in your life? What is something you can do this WEEK? ___________ How about some longer term actions? What is something you will do this MONTH? ___________ What is something you would love to do soon? ___________ (you don’t have to commit yet, just think of something that appeals to you!) Wrap-up It’s essential that we are kind to ourselves as well as others. And it’s a kindness to ourselves to think about who we spend our time with… Especially with COVID restricting our social lives, this is a great opportunity to think about who you want to spend more—and less—time with. And taking this one step further, now is a great opportunity to build positive relationships, and possibly let some people go… Lastly, remember to look inwards too! Each of the 7 types of people in this article play an important role in your life. And if they love and support you, well they’ve obviously got very good taste in friends! POINT TO PONDER: It can also be a useful exercise to consider which of the above types of people are you—and for whom? I hope you enjoyed this read! Change the world. Start with you! If you liked this article with 7 types of people to nourish your relationship with, you may also like: Boost Your Energy—Identify Your Spark Team Tool! (.PDF printable) Get Motivated: 6 Super Ways to Energize, Refocus & Lose those Blahs Am I Too Nice For My Own Good? 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